Breaking the habit: Tenants to leave nuns’ Angel Guardian Home by 2017

On the block: The block-sized campus is up for sale.

Photo by Georgine Benvenuto
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

The end is nigh.

The Sisters of Mercy are preparing to sell Dyker Heights’s Angel Guardian Home, and they’ve begun giving tenants a deadline to leave, according to organizations there. A senior center headquartered at the sprawling, block-sized former orphanage is expected to vacate by year’s end, leaving the center and its old folks worrying where they’ll go, a source there said.

“They’re gonna sell the place — they said we have to be out by 2017,” according to a source at the Narrows Senior Center who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Seniors get nervous over anything — a couple of them are worrying ‘Where are we gonna go?’ It’s such a nice place.”

Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens runs the senior center and uses facilities there to cook more than 200 meals a day for area oldsters, and seniors fear they won’t be able to get great nosh once it moves at the end of the year, according to the tipster.

“They like our center, because we have good food there,” the source said.

The Sister of Mercy opened the orphanage — bounded by 12th and 13th avenues and 62nd and 63rd streets — at the turn of the 20th century, and it found homes for hundreds of Brooklyn youths, including one of this paper’s photographers, until it closed in the 1970s.

The nuns still own the land, which is zoned for row houses, and sister organization Mercy First operates a foster care center there that is slated to move by the end of 2017, a worker said. The sisters are still courting potential buyers, but there is definite interest, she said.

“They’re actively searching, and there are people who are interested,” said Sister Margaret Dempsey.

Local education leaders and politicians have said the site would be ideal for a new school.

The Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order’s headquarters in Pennsylvania did not respond to multiple inquiries.

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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